Stocks lack fuel to go higher

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The local stock market on Wednesday went up a little higher amid several factors that may have been keeping it from climbing further, even if the Dow Jones added 100 points overnight in response to the expectation the Federal Reserve will continue its economic stimulus program.

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The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) sustained its modest uptrend and rose by 0.82 percent on Wednesday, or 53.75 points to end at 6,597.21, while the broader all-shares barometer went up by 0.39 percent, or 15.64 points to 3,977.43.

“Two things may be sapping liquidity in the markets today and in the weeks ahead. First, we are going to a long weekend, or conversely a shortened week of trades,” Jun Calaycay, Accord Capital Equities Corp. analyst, said.

“Second, the succession of IPOs [initial public offerings]that started with today’s listing and trading of Harbor Star Shipping Services,” he added.

In general, Gus Cosio, First Metro Asset Management Inc. president, said that the market is still backed by the positive current economic fundamentals in the country, citing that there’s still growth in consumer spending, infrastructure spending and possible resurgence of manufacturing activity, among other things.

Also, all of the sub-indices managed to post gains except for mining and oil, which went down by 0.51 percent, or 66.35 points to 12,827.06.

Property, on the other hand, climbed by 1.98 percent, or 51.48 points to 2,651.48, followed by financials, which rose by 1.49 percent, or 23.91 points to 1,629.44.

Holding firms also went up, gathering 22.14 points, or 0.37 percent toward 5,996.18, while industrial increased by 0.33 percent, or 31.07 points to 9,378.57. The services counter ended flat, albeit on the green side, with a 0.07-percent gain, or 1.36 points to 1,996.78.

Total value turnover was thin at P6.3 billion with advancers edging decliners, 81 to 78.

Some of the actively traded stocks on Wednesday were Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., SM Prime Holdings Inc., Ayala Corp., Metro Pacific Investments Corp., SM Investments Corp., LT Group Inc., Ayala Land Inc., Philippine National Bank and BDO Unibank Inc.

On Tuesday, tug boat operator Harbor Star Shipping Services Inc. officially listed at the local bourse, capping the day with its share price standing at P1.91 apiece.

“Tugboat was priced quite cheaply. It is very unique. It gives retail investors a good choice for widening portfolio,” Cosio said.

Reversing early losses, Philippine shares managed to cap Tuesday trade with modest gains, or by 0.06 percent, or 3.65 points to 6,543.46. But the wider all-shares index went down 0.03 percent, or 2.37 points to close at 3,961.79.

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